Former American Fork High player remembered as Cavemen advance to state championship game

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Some players went into American Fork High School’s 6-A football semifinal against East High Friday with thoughts of a former teammate.

Two years ago Keaton Smith was a senior linebacker for the Cavemen but shortly after the season, his life came to a sudden and tragic end.

“It’s not something you would imagine ever going through,” Keaton’s mother Rebecca Smith said. 

Rebecca and Kirk Smith struggled to recount the events of November 24th, 2017 when their 17-year-old son Keaton was killed in a rollover crash in Pleasant Grove. It was just three weeks after his American Fork team lost to East in the 6-A quarterfinals and Kirk remembers leaving for work that morning.

“The last image I have of him was with his three little brothers and they were sitting on the couch and it was a Saturday morning and they were watching cartoons, I’m sure of some sort, and he was sitting there laughing with his three little brothers,” Kirk told ABC4 News. “I wish I would have grabbed him and just hugged him and told him how much I loved him.”

“He was the first one wanting to offer help,” Rebecca said. “You never had to ask him to do anything. He just kind of stepped in there and treated others so kindly. Just a really, really good heart.”

“He had a really good attitude about everything,” American Fork High School Principal Dan Weishar said. “The parents did that too. They gave a scholarship in his name which is really powerful and every year they have a scholarship for students to remember his name and the kind of person he was.”

Along with always being a part of AFHS, Keaton’s parents want his memory alive to remind all of us to buckle up.

“Our son would probably be here if he had his seat belt on and that’s pretty hard to say out loud,” Kirk said. “That’s not something my wife or I haven’t even really wanted to say but the fact is he probably would be here. And that just sucks. I’m sorry. That just sucks.”

Kirk Smith tells ABC4 that on Graduation Night, Keaton’s three younger brothers accepted his diploma on his behalf.

American Fork defeated East 37-27 Friday to advance to the 6-A Championship game against Corner Canyon November 22nd.

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